Posted in prophecy, theology

The Lord will Thresh and Winnow

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s vacation week for much of America. I’m going to go a little easy myself this week and get a bunch of reading done. I thought for this week I’d bring forward some of the early essays I wrote.

With 5,200 essays written here since 2009, there are some you may have missed, lol. I published this one in May 2009. You can see my heart even since the earliest days of this blog. Agricultural allusions, and judgment. Continue reading “The Lord will Thresh and Winnow”

Posted in prophecy, theology

Will you be trembling, or rejoicing?

By Elizabeth Prata

In Psalm 96:11-12 we read of the creation rejoicing,

Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

Creation is glad, rejoices, roars, exults, and sings!

One Psalm later in Psalm 97:2-5 we read, Continue reading “Will you be trembling, or rejoicing?”

Posted in prophecy, theology

Are things spinning out of control? (Answer: No)

By Elizabeth Prata*

If you read the news today it seems like everything is out of control. I mean, really.

I think every sphere in which we live; food, transportation, government, war, medicine, peace, etc. seems like it’s going wonky. Does it seem like every sphere of our lives are unraveling, undergoing pressure, or otherwise getting worse? It sure feels like things are spinning out of control.

They’re not.

I was musing on God’s orderliness. Time and time again in the Bible He shows us just how much He is in control. Everything happens in His schedule, in His timetable, in His timing, for His reasons. Nothing escapes His notice. Nothing happens unless He causes it, allows it, or oversees it and then brings it all to the Good for those who love Him.

You have to read the Bible a lot to get this broad of an overview and this much of a grounding. I can put in Bible verse after bible verse, but it wouldn’t broaden the scope enough to illustrate what I’m saying. The best thing to do is read Matthew 1-3. I’ll synopsize here.

For millennia, the People knew that there would come a Messiah to redeem them and bring them to sinless glory. They waited and they waited and they waited. It seemed like a long time was passing. And a long time was passing. But in God’s orderliness, this is how time was passing:

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations, from David until the captivity in Babylon are fourteen generations, and from the captivity in Babylon until the Christ are fourteen generations.” (Matthew 1:17).

Orderly. Precise. Jesus arrived at the fourteenth generation of the fourteenth generation of the fourteenth generation, just as planned.

When the Magi arrived, Herod was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. (Mt 2:3). So Herod called the priests and teachers and asked about this birth and where it was supposed to take place. They replied:

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.‘” (Matthew 2:5-6)

Jesus was born in Bethlehem, just as He planned. Orderly.

Herod was much troubled and he decided to kill the boy Jesus, this coming King he had heard of, by killing all the tots under the age of two. But God sent an angel to Joseph, advising him to flee to Egypt. And so another prophecy was fulfilled.

When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.” (Matthew 3:14-15)

Herod’s massacre then happened, and so the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled–

A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” (Matthew 3:18).

God sent the People their first prophet in 400 years, a man to announce the coming kingdom and to call for repentance: John the Baptist. This was to fulfill he “who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying:

The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight.'” (Matthew 3:3).

Orderly. He was spoken of to come, and he came.

If you take the broad view you see that all had happened just as it should. You see that it is all happening now just as it should. Though daily events seem out of control, over the long term they are actually very orderly.

As an example, you look at this Reubens painting it looks like chaos.

The mothers of the slain babies sure didn’t feel like life was orderly- it felt like it was spinning out of control. As the angel shook Joseph’s shoulder and told him to flee to Egypt, it sure must have felt like things were spinning out of control. You know how you feel when you get a 2 am phone call! It is scary at best and chaotic at worst, especially if the call brings bad news, especially if you have to run out to the police station or to the hospital.

I understand how the people of Jesus’ day would be confused, the disparate verses calling for a Bethlehem-born, lamenting Rachel, out of Egypt, Nazarene presaged by a Nazrite eating locusts and honey didn’t seem to fit together. But then, just as suddenly, they did. His prophecy is perfect and perfectly orderly.

If you feel like life is getting out of control, I understand. There’s high crime, wantonness, bloated lusts. But they too are prophesied

Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matthew 24:3b-8).

All these things must come to pass. And then He will call for us, and suddenly everything we have been told for thousands of years in the twinkling of an eye will become past history.

God has everything in control. If you are saved by His grace, your soul is secure. Everything is progressing just as it should be. Nothing is out of control.

Did you know that over 100 prophecies in Daniel 11 alone were fulfilled exactly? Such Godly precision!

It is happening now in an orderly way, precisely, and perfectly. And no matter what occurs in my life, no matter how low my bank account gets, or how many rumors of reduction in force swirl past my ears, no matter how many times I have to hide in the tub with a pillow over my head from tornadoes, no matter how empty my refrigerator gets, I know He has everything in control. That knowledge is the securest place I could possibly be, and I wouldn’t trade it. I am grateful for His grace, His perfection, His plan, His love for keeping me sheltered in this wonderful knowledge.

If you would like to partake of the sweetness of His security, knowing everything is perfect in the world according to His plan, then repent of your sins. Appeal to Jesus as your savior from the wrath of God, and fling yourself on Him in sorrow for your crimes against Him. He will forgive you. And then I would be blessed to say to you, “Welcome to the family of God.”

*A version of this essay first appeared on The End Time on March 16, 2012

Posted in prophecy, theology

They will know that I am the LORD

By Elizabeth Prata

We read the phrase “then they will know” 21 times in Ezekiel. Nineteen times the phrase is repeated “Then they will know that I am the LORD,” and twice we read “Then they will know that a prophet has been among them.”

When you read Ezekiel straight through you can’t help but notice the refrain.

What is it exactly that they will know? And who will know it?

To those living in the mountains and hills of Israel, they knew that it was the LORD who laid waste to the towns and the high places demolished. He said, ‘Then they will know that I am the Lord.’ Continue reading “They will know that I am the LORD”

Posted in prophecy, theology

America has lost its mind. Here’s why

By Elizabeth Prata

I’m reading through Ezekiel. It’s rough. Chapter after chapter after chapter of doom, rebellion, threats, dire warnings, idolatry, profaning the pure, and more. The Israelites were a bunch of rebels, for sure. Even in exile in Babylon where Ezekiel prophesied, they refused to listen. (Ezekiel 2:5). What God promised to do to them if they refused to hear is very hard to read about, especially in these current days. But they kept right on, and on, and on.

I’d often stop reading and look away from my Bible with tears in my eyes, pleading for the long-gone Israelite rebels, “Why, why do they do such things?’ Then I’d ponder the nature of rebellion and the power of sin. I’d take a deep breath and return hesitatingly to the page to absorb more heartbreak. Continue reading “America has lost its mind. Here’s why”

Posted in prophecy, theology

Mailbag question: Is COVID-19 a foreshadowing of things to come?

By Elizabeth Prata

prophecy

This week’s blog essay, Why conspiracy theories shouldn’t matter to the Christian, sparked a question from a reader. I love this, because it means people are reading and thinking about the material I publish. It’s all I ask; read, think, consult the Bible, think some more. Here is the question:

[Some believe] Covid-19 (virus) is being used by government officials to be a foreshadowing of things to come. How does this play in your most recent column?

My answer:

As for the COVID-19 issue, I think it IS a shadow of things to come, no doubt. And we were given insight into what is to come in the Bible and the balm to endure it- Jesus blood and grace of salvation.

I think the whole pandemic was directly sent by God. He has done so many times before, as we read in Exodus 9:15, Deuteronomy 28:21, Chronicles-1 21:14, Jeremiah 21:6, and even in 1 Corinthians 11:30 Paul says “many of you” have gotten sick and even died because of abuse of the Lord’s Table.

So it’s sent by the Lord and He is doing something through it, because the Father is always working even as Jesus is working. (John 5:17). Perhaps to warn, perhaps to winnow our attachment to the world, perhaps to make us turn to Him, perhaps to expose the church, or a thousand other reasons we can’t know.

Whatever His reasons, I also believe it is a massive lurch forward in His prophetic plan. Ever since Adam and Eve fell, God has worked everything, every moment, to advance His plan to give His Son a bride and make His kingdom pure and holy. Sometimes in history it may have seemed like the advancement of His plan was slow or even stopped. Other times, massively moving forward, (WWII anyone?) all toward the Day when His plan concludes. In fact, every day is a foreshadowing of things to come. It’s just that sometimes we can see or sense His Hand in it more than others, like a worldwide pandemic, or 9/11. It’s times like those where the lost perk up and begin facing the truths they suppress. (Romans 1:18). So, it’s an opportunity.

Ultimately it doesn’t matter what happens in culture. There is now another pandemic on earth, reminding us of man’s sin and His sovereignty. People died, but people always die. No one died who wasn’t supposed to die. And no one promised America an eternally thriving economy, a permanently viable Constitution, and endless freedom of religion. In fact, the Bible promises the opposite. We’ve already outlasted every other empire with those boons and have been insulated from the instability of the rest of the world’s political and civic problems for so long despite our national sins, it’s amazing we haven’t been judged already like Sodom and Gomorrah were.

If our way of life here in the US continues, great. If it doesn’t great- because maybe there will be even more fertile ground for people to come to Christ as they seek answers. America is a huge mission field. No, I personally wouldn’t be looking forward to a decrease in standard of living, or jail time for worshiping Christ, who would? But it is but a vapor of a breath of time compared to the glory to come. That’s why ultimately the ins and outs of the pandemic, who made the flu happen, which governors are tyrants and which are good…doesn’t matter. The political stability of the world has never been stable. Only Christ is the Rock.

If this is a sign of a worsening of the world, that should cause two reactions in Christians – joy that our true home is closer than ever, and fervor to do our ambassadorial work for Jesus because of the huge numbers of the lost who would not only miss out on the graces we have been given but spend an eternity gnashing their teeth.

Hope this helps 🙂 and thanks for asking.

Posted in prophecy, theology

What is the Mark of the Beast? Can you take it accidentally? Through a vaccine?

By Elizabeth Prata

With the COVID-19 pandemic scare occurring in the world right now, and with quarantines, lockdowns, and discussions of a vaccine, many people are wondering if the promised vaccine will be part of a global plan to introduce a tracking system akin to the long-prophesied mark of the beast. It’s been mentioned. Let’s look into that question, and let’s start from the Bible. Note, there are two beasts described in the passage. The first beast is uniformly interpreted to be the Antichrist. Continue reading “What is the Mark of the Beast? Can you take it accidentally? Through a vaccine?”

Posted in prophecy, theology

When God says ‘Stay in the house’ – Thoughts on Ezekiel then and Pandemic today

By Elizabeth Prata

STAY IN THE HOUSE!

blog house

I came across a strange scene when I was reading Ezekiel last night. God calls Ezekiel to be a watchman. To be His prophet. To speak His words among the people. So immediately after the call, God told Ezekiel to shut himself up in his house and to remain silent. This is strange. Aren’t prophets the ones who go around preaching, roaming the Land, proclaiming His words?

It’s in Ezekiel 3:24, and I posted verses 22-27 for context. Continue reading “When God says ‘Stay in the house’ – Thoughts on Ezekiel then and Pandemic today”

Posted in prophecy, theology

Facebook double standard: FB blocks link to Christian page but allows posting an Islamic page urging Muslims to fight Jews & Christians

By Elizabeth Prata

I was several hours into writing a different essay today but it will wait until tomorrow. Something else has come up instead.

In my morning routine I post on Facebook a daily devotional from Charles Spurgeon and I post a scripture picture that I make from my photos, along with a link to a source that explains the verse. This morning I posted a picture with a verse on it about God’s self-existence. I used the word “Aseity” in my post and supplied a link to a conservative page that defines the word, along with explaining other of God’s known attributes such as His holiness and His eternality. I think it’s important to both use the theological words so they don’t fall into disuse and to provide credible links about the verse or the words so people can study them.

Facebook blocked me from publishing the post because they claimed “the link goes against our Community Standards”. I tried 5 times and the notation was the same each time. No go. The link Facebook objected to was a page listing God’s attributes with a couple of sentences explaining each one. See this screenshot of the page I was trying to link to:

It was to the website Theopedia, which describes itself as:

Just to test whether a double standard existed, (in my view), I posted a similar type page. A link to a page where a verse of the Q’uran is translated by different translators and explained. It seems to be a Muslim dictionary close in type to Theopedia a Christian dictionary. I chose the verse from Q’uran 9:29 urging Muslims to fight/kill “People of the Book” who are described in the Q’uran as Jews and Christians.

I used similar language as my original post that was blocked- “Theme this week”. I deliberately added “Fight those who do not believe in Allah” which is part of the Q’uran 9:29 verse. The language is inflammatory and threatens violence. According to Facebook’s Community Standards, threatening violence is against their Community Standards. Yet, my post linking to an Islamic page translating a violent threat from the Q’uran and language that is explicitly inflammatory was allowed to be uploaded immediately. Here is the screenshot of the published page.

To sum up, Christian Theopedia was a Facebook NO

 

Violent Q’uran verse page was a Facebook YES.

I sent a query to the Community Standards folks asking about this.

Facebook is a private company (publicly traded) so they can do what they choose. But can they? If one is a monopoly can one choose to discriminate on the basis of race or religion? If one has an obvious bias leading to a double standard in censoring speech, can that be allowed? The NY Times found that a Facebook Community rules double standard existed.

In this 2018 article from the NY Times, “Inside Facebook’s Secret Rulebook for Global Political Speech: Under fire for stirring up distrust and violence, the social network has vowed to police its users. But leaked documents raise serious questions about its approach, we read that:

The closely held rules are extensive, and they make the company a far more powerful arbiter of global speech than has been publicly recognized or acknowledged by the company itself, The New York Times has found. … An examination of the files revealed numerous gaps, biases and outright errors. As Facebook employees grope for the right answers, they have allowed extremist language to flourish in some countries while censoring mainstream speech in others. [emphasis mine]

Well it happened not in a faraway nation or on a globalist scale. One old lady in small-town Georgia was told by Facebook that a listing of God’s attributes was a violation of their standards while a page urging Muslims to fight Jews and Christians is allowed. Facebook, your double standard is troublesome in the extreme!

 

Posted in prophecy, theology

The Orwellian time in which we live, and the mark of the beast

By Elizabeth Prata

Annotation 2020-04-21 080231

Tech giants are making decisions for us. Governments, with the assistance of technology, are intruding on our private lives in ways that we’d believe unthinkable two months ago.

Example: Amazon is delaying fulfillment based on their assessment of whether the item is “essential” or not. At the outset of the lockdown, I ordered two items.

1. CPAP headgear
2. Compression socks

Both items were medically necessary for me. I use the CPAP machine to breathe at night, my sleep apnea is bad and I stop breathing multiple times per night for lengthy periods. The headgear is the strap that keeps the mask attached to my face. It had gotten very stretched and through repeated washings the velcro was practically useless. My machine data showed increasing number of apnea incidents during the night due to mask slippage. I ordered a new one. Amazon said it wasn’t essential.

Oh, yes it is.

During times I am not at work I sit a lot at my table and write, edit, use the laptop for entertainment, and communication. I might sit for long periods, and thus the circulation in my legs causes ankle swelling. I use compression socks to help with this. Amazon said the socks weren’t essential.

Oh, yes it is.

So, tech giants are monitoring what we buy and making decisions for us as to whether we truly need it or not.

Then I learn that some tech apps are suspending privileges based on the topic of sermon, if they don’t like it!

Tech Giants Begin the Crackdown on Unapproved Sermons as Churches Are Forced Online

On Friday, Google suspended Christ Church’s app from the Google Play store after accusing the pastors of a lack of sensitivity and/or capitalizing on the current coronavirus pandemic. The church received a notice from the platform, stating: “We don’t allow apps that lack reasonable sensitivity towards or capitalize on a natural disaster, atrocity, conflict, death, or other tragic event. “Your app has been suspended and removed due to this policy issue,” the notice added.
It’s believed Google was referring to Pastor Douglas Wilson’s short lessons on responding faithfully to the COVID-19 crisis, and Pastor Toby J. Sumpter’s sermon calling God’s people to humble repentance in the face of the pandemic.

Tech giants are making decisions about the topics of the video content we view.

Facebook will steer users who interact with coronavirus misinformation to WHO

The move is just the most recent step in an aggressive and coordinated response by Facebook and other tech companies to promote facts and guidance from reputable sources. … Users who have liked, commented on or otherwise reacted to coronavirus misinformation that Facebook has flagged and removed as “harmful” will be directed to a website debunking coronavirus myths from the World Health Organization.

Tech giants making decisions about how we need to be ‘guided’ and to whom (or WHO) we need to be guided TO.

In a chilling dystopian move, 22 states now using drones to enforce lockdowns

In this article, Drone Pandemic, we read, “straight from a dystopian film script—as successive lockdowns have been declared across the world from Wuhan to Lagos—authorities have begun turning to loudspeaker-equipped flying drones to enforce social distancing rules,  Elsewhere, the buzzing beasts hover ominously over upright citizens engaged in seemingly innocent activities like shopping or getting some fresh air…”

In Daytona, they have a drone with “a FLIR cam that can read a person’s body temperature.”

In NJ, “Some may notice drones monitoring your neighborhoods. These drones are going to alert people to move away from each other if they are congregating. … These drones will be around the City with an automated message from the Mayor telling you to STOP gathering, disperse and go home.”

Authorities in Britain were criticized last week for sending drones flying over visitors to a park and then shaming them by posting the footage on Twitter.

Neighbors were encouraged to snitch on other neighbors who were not wearing masks or not staying 6 feet apart from each other.

Technology that finds us, photographs us, does a biometric on us, shames us, orders us, manages our behavior…

Have we given too much authority to the techs?

—————————————

Technology is a blessing. I love technology. I am glad I’m living now, when the internet was invented, color television, cell phones, digital cameras & etc.. I am old enough to have been born before those things were invented and I appreciate being able to use them now.

But as with anything, technology has a dark side. Technology is a slave to user input and users are sinners. Pornography comes to mind. Bank fraud. Shell corporations. Cyber stalking/bullying. I’m personally not crazy about drones.

This next statement will seem like a non sequitur, but eventually I’ll bring these two thoughts together. We are in the end time now. We have been since Jesus ascended, and we will be until the rapture when Jesus returns in the sky and calls up His saints, dead and alive, to heaven, ending the Church Age.

I named this blog The End Time to remind myself and readers of that fact, that we are in the latter days and Jesus could return at any moment. When He does, our duties here on earth will be done. We should have a sense of urgency every day with that fact in mind. His return for His church in the air has always been imminent.

After the rapture, an imminent event described in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, John 14:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, to name some, there will be a period of judgment on earth called The Time of Jacob’s Trouble. (Jeremiah 30:7). It is when the Jews will be finally punished for 7 years to finish the decree, (Daniel 9:24-27) and also sinful Gentiles remaining on earth will be punished. Jesus said in Matthew 24’s Olivet Discourse that many will have tribulation, so, many people call this time “The Tribulation” as well.

During the 7 year Tribulation, when God’s wrath is poured out over the whole earth (but the Church is not destined for wrath – 1 Thessalonians 5:9; Revelation 3:10), an event occurs which even most unsaved people know about.

It is called the Mark of the Beast. In this time, God allows satan and his demons to run the earth in greater and greater ways than even now (2 Corinthians 4:4). Sin will be king. The upheavals in economies, weather, geophysical, behavior events are so terrible, no a worse time there shall never be, (Matthew 24:21) that the nations reform into one world government with one leader, the antichrist. In Revelation 13:16-17 he is described as instituting a mark upon all the people of the earth. It is a mark of allegiance and worship and oh by the way, those without the mark cannot buy or sell. Christians refuse the mark because they refuse to worship the beast, and are hunted down and beheaded.

We are not in the Tribulation now. I repeat, we are not in the Tribulation now. I am not saying that prophetic time is immediately upon us. I want to make the point though, that in former times it has been hard for people to imagine how the ‘one world government’ and the ‘mark of the beast’ will come about.

During this pandemic time in 2020, I believe that what occurred indicates just how easy it will be to enact the prophecies we read in Revelation.

The world acquiesced to lockdowns, shutdowns, social distancing, and the like, almost immediately. In America, the land of the free, people acquiesced immediately to orders to remain inside, to wear masks, to shop only at certain times or certain places. Because of the good obedience in good faith of the American people, sadly, some politicians have taken advantage. They extend the lockdown beyond the flattened curve we were told was the reason for the lockdown in the first place.

Fear drove it, uncertainty propelled it, suspicion wafted in. Compliance was easy to engender. However, the power that was grabbed has been hard for them to let go.

I don’t know what the Lord is doing through this pandemic. Pastor Don Green preached a good message that asked the question, the seminal and primary question we should all be asking: Why did God stop the world? Coming out the other side we may see some new things, to the good or to the bad or both. People miss church People miss friends. People don’t take for granted the time we are given. People may value educators, first responders, hospital workers more. People may respect the president more as he has led through this pandemic. They may respect certain leaders less since they totally failed during the pandemic. They may not buy as much from China.

Alternately, people may quickly forget and revert to old ways. They may have become conditioned to accept drones, government intrusion, immediate compliance, and tech giants making decisions for us.

When the time comes, the Antichrist will seem like Orwell’s ‘Big Brother,’ a benign, helpful overseer of all that is good, when in reality the truth will be that he is a demon spawn from hell bent on forcing worship and won’t hesitate to kill anyone who objects. The ultimate dystopia.

Why DID God stop the world? Perhaps this time was meant to advance the plan of God forward in a huge and visible leap. All I want to say is, this pandemic time of COVID-19 has shown me at least, how easy it will be when the time comes for secular people to accept a one world government and to take the mark of the beast.

—————————–

Further reading

If you enjoy dystopian literature then see these:

EM Forster: (1909, novella) The Machine Stops, The story, set in a world where humanity lives underground and relies on a giant machine to provide its needs, predicted technologies similar to instant messaging and the Internet.

Article – Prophet or Futurist? 7 Technologies Jules Verne Predicted Leagues Ahead of His Time
Author (and inventor for some) Jules Verne created worlds in his stories that featured technology that is still relevant to this day. You might enjoy pairing his book Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, with the book or movie Ice Station Zebra, or his story Robur the Conqueror that predicted helicopters with the movies Black Hawk Down or Blue Thunder.

Book – One Second After by William Forschen, A post-apocalyptic thriller of the after effects in the United States after a terrifying terrorist attack using electromagnetic pulse weapons, which destroy all electronics and technology, rendering them useless.

Q&A – What is the Mark of the Beast, credible and biblical answers to this amazing and devastating period to come.